Pollies pull heads out of sand

EXCAVATION work to relocate up to 20,000 cubic metres of sand at Kirra Beach is planned to start on July 20.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, Climate Change Minister Kate Jones and Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said on Monday, July 6, in a statement that the work was timed to start after the school holidays.

“Machinery will hit the sand in just two weeks which will help bring back Kirra's world-famous surf break,” Ms Bligh said.

“Hopefully, we'll see better waves rolling in later this year.”

Ms Jones said this was the first step in fulfilling the Bligh government's $1.5 million election commitment to restore Kirra.

Cr Clarke said Council would carry out the work, which will involve moving sand to fill lagoons formed at the back of the beach.

“The sand will also be moved to Palm Beach, where emergency repair works are needed after May's storms,” he said.

Ms Jones said that according to video evidence, the storms in May reduced the width of beach at Kirra by 30 metres.

“Whether this has improved the Kirra break can be determined only when good surf conditions return.

“Council has started monitoring Kirra to see exactly how much the beach width has reduced and to assess underwater offshore bar conditions.

“The results of this study will determine what works will be done in the next stage of the project, where up to 200,000 cubic metres will be relocated to the back of the beach.”

Ms Jones said the May storms may mean more sand will need to be pumped from the Tweed Sand Bypass to Duranbah, and this would further reduce the amount of sand delivered to southern Gold Coast beaches. She said further discussions were expected with the NSW government about longer term solutions to improve beach and surf conditions.

Cr Clarke said a community meeting later this month would assist in deciding preferred sand management options.

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